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Origins: The Sands o' the Shore

GUEST,Fred McCormick 26 Sep 14 - 09:21 AM
Jack Campin 26 Sep 14 - 09:36 AM
Jeri 26 Sep 14 - 10:07 AM
maeve 26 Sep 14 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Anne Neilson 26 Sep 14 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Anne Neilson 26 Sep 14 - 10:59 AM
maeve 26 Sep 14 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Julia L 26 Sep 14 - 08:57 PM
maeve 30 Sep 14 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 30 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM
Jack Campin 30 Sep 14 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,# 30 Sep 14 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Anne Neilson 30 Sep 14 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 30 Sep 14 - 12:30 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SANDS O THE SHORE
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 09:21 AM

At our weekly singaround yesterday, a song called The Sands O' The Shore was sung. Nobody seems to know anything about it except that it was recorded by Heather Heywood on her CD, By Yon Castle Wa. Also that Heather learned it from one Mary Stewart from Kilmarnock.

Curiously enough I can't trace it in Steve Roud's Folksong Index.

Does anyone know wherebaouts it was collected and from whom and by whom, and when. Also whether it's ever been published. Published elsewhere that is, than Heather's CD.

The Sands O The Shore

CHORUS: Oh, the sands o the shore and the waves o the sea
When his back is turned he's a stranger tae me
He's a stranger tae me aye and sae let him be
For I care nae mair for him than the waves o the sea

1. I aince had a sweetheart but noo I hae nane
He stole awa my heart but I got it back again
Aye I got it back again aye and sae let him be
For I care nae mair for him than the waves o the sea

2. He bocht me a present o a braw diamond ring
He thocht it wid entice me tae gang awa wi him
But I wasnae sae foolish as he taen me tae be
And I care nae mair for him than the waves o the sea

3. O he is the son o a high lord and king
And I am but a dochter o a pair workin man
Sae let him drink his wine aye and I'll drink my tea
For I care nae mair for him than the waves o the sea


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 09:36 AM

Tried the Greig-Duncan?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 10:07 AM

I can't find mention of it prior to Gillian Frame & Back Of The Moon.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: maeve
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 10:56 AM

Fred, I learned it from Heather several years ago (1983 or thereabouts)in Scotland. Notes I made at the time burned with the house. The notes for Heather's album "By Yon Castle Wa'" were by Mudcat member Sheena Wellington, so she may remember, but it seems simple enough to ask Heather and I shall do so.

We do have a previous thread on the song though, with none other than Anne Neilson commenting- and supporting the thought that Heather learned it from Mary Stewart. Lyr ADD "The Sands O' the Shore"

The following is from that previous thread:
***
Subject: RE: The Sands of the Shore
From: Anne Neilson - PM
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 01:47 PM

"Norman Buchan established a Ballads Club at my secondary school (Rutherglen Academy, near Glasgow/Scotland) in 1957 and gave us all a great grounding in good traditional music. When he then went into Parliament in 1964 a new young English teacher Ian Davison (now a prolific songwriter) took over the club and one of his pupils brought in "The Sands of the Shore"; Kathleen Mitchell told Ian that she had learned it from her granny, but although Ian did some research on it at that time he failed to identify it.

I was a member of the Ian Davison Group (typical name for the times!) and we sang it around quite a lot; another former pupil Mary Stewart sang it regularly about then in the Kilmarnock Folk Club -- which is where I believe that Heather Heywood probably first heard it. And Heather eventually recorded it....
Seems like a possible time line to me, but I'd be delighted to learn any more from anyone who knows better.

And we had it as " He's a stranger to me and so let it be" (although the vowels were more Scottish!). "
***end excerpt)
That thread also includes a more anglicized version of the words with the fourth verse beginning. "Oh he is the son of some high-rankin' kin".
The first verse is a bit different in that thread also, with:
"He took awa' my hairt, but I got it back again.
Aye, I got it back again, and as frail though it be,"

Your version is the one I had learned also.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 10:57 AM

As far as I know, this song appeared on the scene around 1965. The late Norman Buchan had just been elected to Parliament the previous year and his job as an English teacher at Rutherglen Academy (on the outskirts of Glasgow) had been taken by Ian Davison, who also took on Norman's Ballads Club of which I had been a member from 1957 until leaving school in 1962.
After leaving school I joined a group with Ian, his wife-to-be Karine, John Craig and Ian Young -- the latter two also Ballads Club FPs like me. We sang a lot of Weavers songs, traditional Scottish material, kids' songs and songs by current writers like Matt McGinn and Adam McNaughtan. (We eventually recorded a 45rpm disc with Adam's Jeely Piece Song on the A side and I'm fairly sure The Sands o' the Shore was the B side.)
We had all brought songs to the group, and Ian brought in The Sands o' the Shore which a pupil called Kathleen (sorry I've forgotten her surname) had sung at the Club: at the time Ian could find no source for it and all Kathleen could provide was that she got it from her grannie!

Mary Stewart was also a member of the Ballads Club and got the song there, took it to Ayshire when she moved there after leaving school and sang it often at Kilmarnock Folk Club, which is where Heather Heywood got it. And I taught it to Gillian Frame when she was a student on the Scottish Music BA course at the (then) Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

It's a great wee song, full of admirable sentiments and attitude.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 10:59 AM

Sorry for the repetition -- cross-over posting with Maeve.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: maeve
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 11:19 AM

I've contacted Heather Heywood to inquire about her source for this jaunty song.

Perhaps this thread and the other I linked to could be linked to one another in the over-the-thread links by a moderator...as time allows.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 08:57 PM

Hi folks- strangely, I just came across a variant of this in a manuscript that I'm working on from Searsport Maine circa 1914. I've also seen it called "Farewell, He" though I'll have to check my sources.No melody, unfortunately, though it does fit the current one (which I heard from Phyllis Martin / Stravaig Galloway Scotland)
cheers- Julia Lane

BERTHA J. AND FRANK E. KNEELAND (1914-17 )
Searsport, Maine

LET HIM GO, LET HIM STAY

1
Adieu to ye cold winters
Farewell to your frost
There is nothing I have gained
But my true love I have lost
I can sing and be as merry
As the gayest girl you see
I can rest when I am weary -
Let him go! Farewell he!

Chorus

Let him go, Let him stay
Let him sink or let him swim
For since he has deceived me
I care no more for him
There are young men a-plenty
And enough as good as he
And I care no more about him
Than the sands of the sea

2
My true love he sent me
A fine diamond ring
He thinks to delude me
And to his heart to win
He thinks to delude me
As he has two or three
I defy a man to do it
Let him go! Farewell he!            Chorus

3
My true love he met me
Down by the shady groves
He smiled in my face
And offered me a rose
He thinks that I would speak to him
As he was passing by
But before I'd humble to that man
I'd lay me down and die

Chorus

4
I've love in my pocket
But none in my heart
I have but a little
I share you all a part
My heart is as light
As the dew upon the lawn
I can lay it down at night
And take it up at morn

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: maeve
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 10:17 AM

How interesting, Julia! Thanks.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM

Thanks for the info folks. It's beginning to look as though SOTS is a version or spin off of Fareweel He (Roud 803).

Unfortunately, if SOTS exists anywhere in Greig Duncan, I have failed to find it. To complicate matters there is only one version of FH in there, and that is just the melody and one verse.

I'm starting to suspect that SOTS has never been collected as such, but learned direct from oral tradition by a member of the Scots folk revival. Mary Stewart perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 12:05 PM

Seems to me that the line "let him drink his wine aye and I'll drink my tea", weaving together class and sexual politics in a snappy concrete metaphor with Swiss-watch precision, could only have been written by somebody with the political consciousness of the 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 12:17 PM

Farewell He
By: Jean Redpath
Released: January 1st, 1973


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 12:20 PM

Tried to post a message, Fred, but it disappeared in the ether!

I also looked in Greig - Duncan but found nothing, and I'm not altogether certain that SOTS is a variant of FH. It certainly shares a lot of the common 'floating' motifs but IMHO it moves away from the abandoned lover theme and takes up a more egalitarian notion ( the contrast between drinking wine or tea/ the explicit statement of social mismatch between the son of a king and the daughter of a poor working man).
It just seems to me like a song that has been put together by a competent maker who wanted to express her/his own opinion of the problems of inequality, and did it through the vehicle of a love song….

Anyway, Fred, as I've said elsewhere -- the song came to Ian Davison c. 1964/5 when he was in charge of Rutherglen Academy Ballads Club following the election of the late Norman Buchan to Parliament. Ian got it from a pupil, Kathleen Mitchell, who 'had learned it from her grannie'. He gave it to me (we were in a group at the time) and it was also sung in the Club, of which Mary Stewart was a member -- but she never collected it directly or learned it direct from oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Sands o' the Shore
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 12:30 PM

Hi Annie,

I'm not convinced either that SOTS is a version of FH. As you say, it's more likely that both songs simply use some comon motifs. However, that's about as close to anything else as I've been able to get.

In fact "Kathleen Mitchell, who 'had learned it from her grannie'", supports my hunch that it's been brought into the revival straight from oral tradition.

Grand people grannies. My maternal grandmother was famed all over the north end of Birkenhead as a singer of Irish weepies and sentimental songs and (I suspect) rebel songs and street ballads.

Alas she died long before I was born, but when my Uncle Bill heard a record of Margaret Barry, he said "That's just how your gran sounded".

Ye gods! What a person to miss out on.


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